2017 Yearbook Sixth Month 2017 Interim Meeting Gunpowder Friends Meeting
I2017-22 Opening. Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Interim Meeting gathered on 6/17/2017 at the Gunpowder Friends Meeting House in Sparks, Maryland. A list of the Meetings of attenders is attached. Rebecca Richards (Gunpowder), Gunpowder Friends Meeting Clerk, welcomed and oriented us. Rebecca noted that Gunpowder is the mother Meeting of several Baltimore-area meetings; the Meeting House we’re using today was built in 1866; having grown from a low ebb, the Meeting is delighted to be here and to have us here today.
We thanked those from Gunpowder Friends Meeting for their hospitality. We heard the names of those who can benefit from being held in the Light.
I2017-23 Past minutes. We improved and APPROVED the minutes of our 3/18/2017 meeting (except for I2017-17 which was approved at that meeting).
I2017-24 Travel minute. Marcy Baker Seitel (Adelphi), Interim Meeting Clerk, read aloud a travel minute for Jason Eaby (Nottingham), approved by Nottingham Monthly Meeting; the travel minute is attached. We APPROVED the travel minute for Jason Eaby. The Interim Meeting Clerk signed the minute; Jason took the minute and departed for the airport.
I2017-25 Treasurer’s report. Tom Hill (Charlottesville), Treasurer, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Tom emphasized that there are ministries behind the numbers in our audits. Trustees have authorized Tom to sign our audit for 2016; it shows increases in assets over 2015. Tom noted that the audit is still qualified: no longer because of our connection with Friends House and Nursing Home; still because of our connection with the Miles White Beneficial Society of Baltimore City and the auditor’s lack of information about it. The audit will be in our 2017 Yearbook.
Tom reviewed revenue and expenses through [5/31/2017], noting that the majority of the roughly $293,000 of expenditures to meet restrictions were for the Catoctin bathhouse.
I2017-26 Apportionment change. Lee Henkel (Floyd), Stewardship and Finance Committee Co-Clerk, presented a first reading of a recommended apportionment change; the written version of the recommendation is attached. Lee stressed the desire to avoid unintended consequences of any elements added to a new way of determining apportionments. Lee noted the challenge of providing relief where it is truly needed while avoiding unduly burdening other Meetings. Lee noted that final proposed apportionments for 2018 are to be on the Yearly Meeting’s web site soon, encouraged those present to ask their local Meetings to consider the matter, and emphasized that Stewardship and Finance plans to recommend its new method to be used for the 2018 apportionments determined at our 2017 Annual Session.
I2017-27 Bathhouse update. David Hunter (Frederick), Camp Property Manager, expects that the Catoctin bathhouse will be completed 6/20/2017, on time and under budget. Jim Lynn (Sandy Spring), Stewardship and Finance Committee Co-Clerk, reported on financial aspects of completion of the Catoctin bathhouse; a written version of the report is attached. Total cost for the project is estimated to be $775,927; about $433,000 has been given or pledged toward the project; $340,000 has been loaned to the Yearly Meeting by ten lenders for the project. Jim provided some details of the loans, which can be repaid at any time; folks wanting to enable early repayments can contact our General Secretary, Ned Stowe (Sandy Spring).
I2017-28 General Secretary’s report. Ned Stowe (Sandy Spring), General Secretary, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Ned highlighted the availability on the Yearly Meeting’s web site of information on support services offered to local Meetings by the Yearly Meeting (in the “Who We Are” section).
I2017-29 Youth Programs Manager's annual report. Becka Haines Rosenberg (Alexandria) and Annalee Flower Horne (Takoma Park), Youth Programs Committee Co-Clerks, presented the Youth Program Manager’s annual report; the written version is attached. We heard of Annual Session discounts available to Friendly Adult Presences.
I2017-30 Working Group on Refugees, Immigrants, and Sanctuary. Phil Caroom (Annapolis), Peace and Social Concerns Clerk, presented the Committee’s request that Interim Meeting concur with the establishment of a Working Group on Refugees, Immigrants, and Sanctuary; the written version of the request is attached. We heard that, in addition to Annapolis, Bethesda, Homewood, Langley Hill, Patapsco, Sandy Spring, and Baltimore, Stony Run Meetings cited in the Committee’s request as involved in these areas, Adelphi, Blacksburg, Herndon, Menallen, and Washington Meetings are also involved.
We CONCURRED with the establishment of a Working Group on Refugees, Immigrants, and Sanctuary under Peace and Social Concerns, changing “may work under the care and support of BYM Peace and Social Concerns Committee” to “will work under the care and support of BYM Peace and Social Concerns Committee.”
I2017-31 Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative. Phil Caroom (Annapolis), Peace and Social Concerns Clerk, presented the Committee’s recommendation to endorse a resolution supporting the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative; a written version of the petition is attached. Molly Mitchell (Homewood) and Vinny DeMarco (Homewood), provided details about the initiative and resolution. We heard that two web-based videos on the initiative provide an opportunity for binge watching. We heard that past similar Maryland efforts that succeeded have cost about $250,000; $50,000 has been raised; a 9/16/2017 fundraising event is planned. We heard that the Clean Energy Jobs Initiative is currently limited to Maryland, with the hope that Maryland’s action might provide an example.
We APPROVED this: we endorsed the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Initiative resolution. We heard a suggestion to involve Maryland Meetings that are part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
I2017-32 Report from Friends United Meeting Representative. A written report from Georgia Fuller (Langley Hill), Friends United Meeting (FUM) Representative, is attached.
I2017-33 Search Committee. Karie Firoozmand (Baltimore, Stony Run), Search Committee Clerk, reported. At Search Committee’s recommendation, we APPROVED these nominations, all with standard terms of service, for forwarding to Annual Session: Helen Tasker (Frederick), Yearly Meeting Recording Clerk; Tom Hill (Charlottesville), Treasurer; Jim Riley (Hopewell Centre), Assistant Treasurer; Joshua Riley (Hopewell Centre), Supervisory Committee; Chip Tucker (Charlottesville), Nominating Committee; and Alex Bean (Adelphi), Nominating Committee.
At Search Committee’s recommendation, we ACCEPTED the resignation of Susan Williams (Roanoke) from Nominating Committee.
Karie noted remaining vacancies on Supervisory Committee and Nominating Committee.
I2017-34 Naming Committee. Dave French (Menallen) reported on behalf of Naming Committee. At the Committee’s recommendation, we APPROVED this: we named Cathy Tunis (Herndon) and Bill Mims (Langley Hill) to Search Committee for three-year terms.
I2017-35 Nominating Committee. Byron Sandford (Washington), reported on behalf of Nominating Committee. At Nominating Committee's recommendation, we ACCEPTED these resignations: Brooke Carroll (Sandy Spring), Camping Program; Hannah Lord (Sandy Spring), Camping Program; and Alison Duncan (Adelphi), Manual of Procedure. We ACCEPTED this resignation: Elise Hansard (Roanoke), Program Committee. At Nominating Committee’s recommendation, we APPROVED Rep Pickard (Gunpowder) substituted for John Yost (Eastland) as Friends United Meeting Triennial Representative. At Nominating Committee’s recommendation and on this second reading, we APPROVED this: we named Marion Ballard (Bethesda) to the Sandy Spring Friends School Board for a term ending in 2020.
I2017-36 Record keeping. Sheila Bach (Langley Hill), Archivist, reported on record keeping; the written version of the report is attached. Sheila highlighted the importance of using complete dates (including years) and complete names in records. We heard a suggestion that records be made available to the archivist promptly to allow corrections to be suggested.
I2017-37 Right Relationship With Animals annual report. Mary Campbell (Washington), presented the Working Group on Right Relationship With Animals’ annual report; the written version of the report is attached. All Working Group members are open to contact from others in the Yearly Meeting; contact information is available in the directory in the Yearly Meeting’s Yearbook. We ACCEPTED the Working Group’s report.
I2017-38 Manual of Procedure. Susan Kaul (Bethesda), Manual of Procedure Committee Clerk, presented the Committee’s recommendations for changes to the manual; the written version of the recommendations is attached. We APPROVED Manual of Procedure Committee’s proposed substantive changes to the manual for forwarding to Annual Session. Susan undertook to check on the accuracy of the description of Prison Visitation and Support.
I2017-39 Faith and Practice process. Karen Cunnyngham (Annapolis), Ad Hoc Faith and Practice Process Clarification Committee Clerk, reported; the written version of the report is attached. The report includes recommendations brought forward for a first reading today with a planned second reading at Annual Session. The recommendations include a name (“Faith and Practice Committee”), a description to be used in two places in the Manual of Procedure, and ways to refer to particular documents. Karen noted that the recommended Manual of Procedure language is meant to give the new Committee leeway in how it works with other Committees.
We heard a sense that coordination with Supervisory Committee for printing, posting, and distribution may no longer be necessary. We heard a sense that Faith and Practice Committee can use guidance on when to print new editions of Faith and Practice (not necessarily whenever changes are made). We heard a concern about duplicating material on the Faith and Practice Committee in two sections of the manual; we heard a sense that the duplication is a short-term solution. We heard a sense that for Faith and Practice Committee, Nominating Committee should consider not only diversity of faith and practice but also consider the involvement of all ages and people of color; we heard a sense that this should be a general charge to Nominating Committee for all its work. We heard a sense that a Faith and Practice Committee will require people particularly prepared to build a new Committee. We heard a sense that service on another Committee ought not preclude service on a Faith and Practice Committee.
We ACCEPTED the report from the Ad Hoc Faith and Practice Process Clarification Committee.
I2017-40 Healthy organization and purposeful evolution. Ken Stockbridge (Patapsco), reported for the Ad Hoc Healthy Organization and Purposeful Evolution (HOPE) Committee; the written version of the report is attached.
We heard a concern that Trustees might not know of all policies for which Trustees are to take responsibility, and that some Committees might not want Trustee involvement in their policies We were reminded that the General Secretary, Supervisory Committee, and Stewardship and Finance Committee were to bring job descriptions and financial feasibility assessments to today’s meeting. We heard that a group under Supervisory Committee has considered and continues to consider job descriptions; the group has yet to reach unity. We heard that this year’s proposed budget is to include funding for new staff. In response to a question, we heard that in the past two and a half years there have been two urgent matters, involving the Yearly Meeting’s Shoemaker grant application and higher-than-expected bids for the Catoctin bathhouse. We heard a sense that an executive role may be inappropriate for a Supervisory Committee that’s now focused on personnel matters; we heard that a change to Supervisory Committee’s charter to reflect its personnel focus may be appropriate. We heard a sense that a charge to Supervisory Committee to fill an executive role should not be a mere add-on to other charges. We heard a sense that clear guidelines would be necessary to enable a group to make public policy statements on the Yearly Meeting’s behalf. We heard a desire to keep our legacy of seasoning practice as we seek to enable urgent action.
Base on HOPE Committee’s recommendation, we APPROVED these actions:
We asked Trustees to explore taking responsibility for or propose an alternative for the review, coordination, publication, and application of the various policies of the Yearly Meeting and its Committees.
We reaffirmed the language in the Manual of Procedure which empowers the Supervisory Committee, between meetings of the Interim Meeting, to “act upon urgent matters not involving policy nor of such importance as to justify a special session of the Interim Meeting. All such actions are to be reported to the Interim Meeting at its next session.” We directed Supervisory Committee to consider and report to our next Interim Meeting on whether change is needed in this area.
We accepted the HOPE Committee’s final report.
We laid down the HOPE Committee.
I2017-41 Presiding Clerk’s report. Ken Stockbridge (Patapsco), Presiding Clerk, reported. Ken has continued to consider the role of elders in our Quaker community. Eldering can be described in the broadest terms as care for the community; it can also be seen as scolding. Ken offered to be involved in conversations about eldering and make sure they happen; Ken’s presentation involved the start of such conversation, with a question and answers about attitudes toward eldering.
I2017-42 Closing. We heard, improved, and APPROVED these minutes.
We ADJOURNED, to gather next as Interim Meeting on 10/14/2017, at the Homewood Friends Meeting House, or at the call of the Interim Meeting Clerk.
Marcy Baker Seitel, presiding Arthur David Olson, recording